SCHWEIZER BOTSCHAFT IN BEIJING
EMBASSY OF SWITZERLAND IN BEIJING
AMBASSADE DE SUISSE EN CHINE

Der wöchentliche Presserückblick der Schweizer Botschaft in der VR China
The Weekly Press Review of the Swiss Embassy in the People's Republic of China
La revue de presse hebdomadaire de l'Ambassade de Suisse en RP de Chine
  24.05-28.05.04, No. 20  
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Foreign Policy

Vietnamese prime minister's China visit successful: FM spokesman
2004-05-25 People's Daily
Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Khai's five-day official visit to China was successful and will facilitate further development of the Sino-Vietnamese relationship, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao Tuesday.
While asked to comment on Khai's visit, which concluded Monday, at a press conference, Liu said Khai and Chinese leaders held in-depth discussions and frankly exchanged views on the bilateral relationship and issues of common concern. ( ) Economic cooperation was the focus of all the discussions. Both sides have agreed on four principles, which are: strengthening high-level contacts, and forging stronger political ties; enhancing all-round trade and economic cooperation in all spheres to double trade volume by 2010; expanding local and non-governmental contacts and exploring multi-channel cooperation to consolidate their traditional friendship and taking the whole situation into account and properly resolving problems existing in their relations.

China makes solemn representation to US over anti-China items in US Defense Bill
2004-05-25 People's Daily
China firmly opposes the US House of Representatives' passage of the defense authorization bill for fiscal year 2005, which contains anti-China provisions, and has made solemn representation to the US side. The anti-China items, which demand sales of landing vessels to Taiwan and high-level military educational exchanges between the US and Taiwan, together with similar amendments put forward by some people of the US Senate, posed a severe violation of the three Sino-US joint communiques and the one-China policy the US government has reiterated many times that it will abide. China urges the US administration to clearly oppose these provisions and amendments, adopt effective measures to prevent them from being made into law, in order to prevent possible harm to Sino-US relations.

China, Russia to boost regional cooperation
2004-05-22 Xinhua News
Wu Bangguo, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People's Congress, said here on Saturday that China and Russia should boost regional ex changes and cooperation. When meeting with Viktor Ishayev, governor of the Far Eastern Russian city of Khabarovsk, Wu indicated that the progress of Sino-Russian relations has paved the way for the development of regional exchanges and cooperation, and that is why he had chosen Khabarovsk as the first stop of his visit. Wu set forth China's three-point proposal aimed at enhancing cooperation between the two sides. First, China and Russia should unblock the main channel for trade cooperation by encouraging large enterprises to participate in the cooperation. The central and regional governments of the two countries should help them play an important role in markets and the investment of some big projects. Second, the two sides should strengthen coordination to solve current problems in trade contacts by protecting legal business operations, combatting illegal trading acts and well regulating the order of economic cooperation and trade. Finally, the management and construction of ports should be enhanced to promote access and lower the cost of administration. The territory is rich in natural resources while China offers a substantial market for the resources. The two sides will benefit from enhancing cooperation in the areas of energy resources and timber processing, he said. ( ) Russia is the first leg of his four-nation European tour which will also take him to Bulgaria, Denmark and Norway.

 

Taiwan

China opposes US go-ahead for Lu's transit stop
2004-05-26 Xinhua News
China strongly opposes the United States permitting Annette Lu Hsiu-lien to make a transit stop in its territory. It is reported that US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher confirmed recently that Lu will make a transit stop in the US territory en route to Latin America. When asked to comment on the issue, Liu said facts had proved that the transit stop in the United States was only an excuse of the Taiwan authorities for their real purpose to embark on separatist activities and to harm Sino-US relations. The United States, regardless of China's representations, gave Lu the go-ahead, and thus violated the principles of the three Sino-US joint communiques, sent a misleading signal to the "Taiwan independence" elements, and brought negative impact on the Sino-USties, the spokesman said. ( )

Chen Shuibian beharrt auf ein "unabhängiges" Taiwan
2004-05-26 Renmin Wang (Übersetzung)
Das Zentralorgan der KPCh hat in einem Schreiben die Bemerkungen vom 20.05 des Leiters der Taiwan-Administration, Chen Shuibian, vehement zurückgewiesen. In seiner Antrittsrede habe Chen das Ein-China-Prinzip "verleugnet" indem er behauptet, dass Taiwan ein unabhängiger Staat sei. Durch diese Aussage beweise Chen Shuibian, dass er sich nicht für eine Verbesserung der Beziehungen zwischen beiden Seiten der Taiwan-Strasse bemühe. Die Souveränität und das Territorium des Landes zu schützen, ist das Wichtigste und Heiligste für das grosse chinesische Volk. China werde entschlossen mit aller Kraft eine friedliche Wiedervereinigung vorantreiben. ()

Chen's speech foreshadows split attempt
2004-05-24 Xinhua News
Zhang Mingqing, the spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council said that although Chen did not mention the time frame for writing a new "constitution" in 2006 and the referendum leading to "Taiwan Independence", he used ambiguous words, like "his personal proposal" and "the common understanding of the vast majority that will be reached", to describe his stances on whether the sovereignty, territory and "Reunification or Independence" issue would be included in the proposed "constitutional reform". "Chen's expression carried the foreshadowing of his attempt to split China," Zhang acknowledged, "which will undermine the stability of the Taiwan Straits and the Asia-Pacific region." Chen's speech, said Zhang, revealed that he still persisted in his stance of seeking "Taiwan Independence" and he had no sincerity to improve the cross-Straits relations.( ) The statement, as the Chinese Mainland's important document on the Taiwan question, has drawn a lot of positive response from the Taiwanese community and the international community, Zhang said.

 

Tibet

Britain berated over Dalai visit
2004-05-27 China Daily
The Chinese Government has criticized Britain for allowing the Dalai Lama to pay a visit and meet Prince Charles. "We have expressed on many occasions to the British side that China is opposed to the activities carried out by the Dalai Lama and his followers, which are aimed at splitting China and undermining national unity," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said Thursday in Beijing. He said China was also opposed to any official figures of any countries inviting or meeting the Dalai Lama in any setting. "We felt deep regret and displeasure that the British side insisted on arranging the visit despite China's repeated representations," Liu said during a regular news briefing.

White paper on Tibet issued
2004-05-23 Xinhua News
China issued Sunday a white paper to acquaint the world with its ethnic policy and the truth about Tibet, and urged the Dalai Lama to "truly relinquish" his stand for "Tibet independence." It is hoped that the Dalai Lama will look reality in the face, make a correct judgment of the situation, truly relinquish his stand for 'Tibet independence,' and do something beneficial to the progress of China and the region of Tibet in his remaining years," says the white paper, titled Regional Ethnic Autonomy in Tibet. ( ) With the implementation of the policy of regional ethnic autonomy, the Tibetan people enjoy full political right of autonomy, have full decision-making power in economic and social development, and have the freedom to inherit and develop their traditional culture and to practice their religious belief, says the paper, citing a series of facts and figures. "Regional ethnic autonomy is the fundamental guarantee for the Tibetan people as masters of their own affairs," the paper concludes. The issuance of the white paper appears to be a counteroffensive against the international propaganda and lobbying by the Dalai Lama, who alleged that the regional ethnic autonomy in Tibet was "devoid of essential contents" and proposed the exercise of "one country, two systems" and "a high degree of autonomy" in Tibet after the model of Hong Kong and Macao. The white paper refuted the "attack" and "argument" of the "Dalai clique" as "totally untenable." "The regional ethnic autonomy in Tibet the Dalai clique attacks is the very regional ethnic autonomy for Tibet which the 14th Dalai supported and whose preparation he was involved in," says the paper, citing the fact that the Dalai Lama was the chairman of the Preparatory Committee for the Tibet Autonomous Region when the committee was established in 1956. "The Dalai's attack against the regional ethnic autonomy in Tibet runs counter not only to the reality of present-day Tibet but also to the words he once uttered in all seriousness," it adds. The white paper says that the situation in Tibet is "entirely different from that in Hong Kong and Macao". ( ) It goes on to point out that the local government of Tibet headed by the Dalai Lama representing feudal serfdom under theocracy has long since been replaced by the democratic administration established by the Tibetan people themselves. "The destiny and future of Tibet can no longer be decided by the Dalai Lama and his clique. ( ) The paper notes that under the reign of the Dalai Lama, "even in the first half of the 20th century, Tibet remained a society ...even darker and more backward than medieval Europe." But after nearly 40 years of practice of regional ethnic autonomy, Tibet has "recorded rapid economic growth and all-round social progress," and the Tibetans have "become the creators and beneficiaries of the material and cultural wealth of Tibetan society."( )

Tibetans fully enjoy human rights under autonomy policy
2004-05-25 Xinhua News
The implementation of the system of regional ethnic autonomy enables Tibetans enjoy human rights fully, many of the Tibetan people have said, in response to the white paper on regional ethnic autonomy in Tibet, which was published on Sunday. Yanglag, a retired Tibetan cadre, said the white paper gave an all-round review of Tibet's development in political, economic, cultural, public health and educational fields over the past 40 years. Facts have proved the life of Tibetan people has changed a lot after practicing regional ethnic autonomy. Tibet has achieved historic progress, he added. Cering, a 76-year-old Tibetan, said, "I know the contents of the white paper from my son, as I am an illiterate.() Traditionally, Tibetans regarded business a shameful trade and against their religious doctrines. Since the founding of new China, especially the practice of economic reforms, a growing number of Tibetans do business and their life experienced a tremendous change, she said. Statistics showed the per capita gross domestic product of Tibet has increased from 241 yuan (29 US dollars) in 1965 to 6,874yuan (828 dollars) in 2003.

 

Domestic Policy

Der Fortschritt in der chinesischen Atomindustrie
2004-05-26 Guangming Wang (Übersetzung)
Die chinesische Kernindustrie wächst schnell., Kang Rixin, der Leiter der chinesischen Unternehmensgruppe für Atomkraft, sagte China könne ohne ausländische Hilfe Atomkraftwerke mit einer Kapazität von über 1.000 Mw bauen. Alle chinesische Atomkraftwerke können zum heutigen Zeitpunkt bis 8.700 Megawatt produzieren. Weiter sei diese Art Strom zu produzieren sehr umweltfreundlich. ( ) Kang Rixin erwarte, dass die Gesamtkapazität der Atomkraftwerke Chinas bis zum Jahr 2020 auf 27.000 Megawatt steigt.

China to punish officials violating human rights
2004-05-26 Xinhua News
China has decided to launch a year-long clean-up campaign to probe human rights infringement crimes committed by government officials across the country, the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) announced here Wednesday. The investigation, starting this May, will focus on crimes like inquisition by torture, extorted confession, illegal detention, interference with citizen's voting rights, and other crimes that lead to human rights infringement. ( ) The SPP has ordered local procuratorates at all levels to publicize their telephone numbers and e-mail addresses to accept supervision from the public. ( )

2 Chinese firms fined for violating missile export rules
2004-05-25 Xinhua News
Two Chinese companies were fined millions of yuan for violating regulations on missile export control, the Ministry of Commerce said here Tuesday. The two companies are in the eastern provinces of Jiangsu and Shandong, the ministry said, but did not give the concrete amounts of the fines and the names of the companies. A ministry official said the Chinese government always stands against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism, and has already issued a series of regulations on export control concerning nuclear, biological and chemical items, missiles and other sensitive items. The official warned related companies to abide by laws and regulations, which will "not only benefits national security and public interest, but also the companies themselves."

Yangtze floods cost US$4.21b
2004-05-27 Xinhua News
Flooding in the Yangtze River Valleys caused 35 billion yuan (4.21 billion US dollars) of direct economic losses in 2003, according to the Yangtze River Flood Control Headquarters. The flooding brought losses to 79 million people in the valleys last year, 644 of whom lost their lives in the calamity, said the headquarters. The floods mainly attacked the river's tributaries which are vulnerable to inundation due to fragile water control facilities, said the headquarters, while warning against the flooding threatening its branches and reservoirs. Nearly half of the casualties in the flooding last year were caused by mountain torrents, said the headquarters, adding that provinces and cities along the river, especially those on the upper reaches, are giving priority to mountain torrent control in their endeavors this year to hold back flooding.

Unsafe blood collection targeted
2004-05-27 China Daily
China kicked off a nationwide campaign Thursday to fight unsafe blood collection and supplies, a big cause behind the rapid spread of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. "I was shocked that all the three AIDS patients, to whom I randomly spoke in Ditan Hospital on World AIDS Day last year, were infected with HIV through unsafe blood transmissions," Gao Qiang said. Gao, the executive vice-minister of the Ministry of Health, made the remarks at a national television conference to start the campaign. Last December, Gao visited Beijing's Ditan Hospital with Premier Wen Jiabao. The visit helped give HIV/AIDS control work unprecedented attention. In a country with 840,000 HIV/AIDS sufferers, unsafe blood collection and transmission is an important and dangerous channel for HIV transmission. Other channels include intravenous drug use and sexual contact. ( ) However, problems remain. The current campaign is to strengthen supervision and standardize the blood market. Public security and procuratorial departments under the State Council will also join the campaign to investigate and punish people who organize unsafe blood marketing and officials who neglect supervision. ( ) Presently, in many areas of China, such as Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, many hospitals still collect their own blood. The practice, which will be prohibited from now on, has led to many medical accidents, Gao said. Even approved blood stations have problems, such as collecting blood too frequently from people whose livelihood depends on blood sales and poor-quality testing. Three blood centres in Hunan, Guangdong and Chongqing were reported by the Ministry of Health to have collected too much blood from as many people as they possible at low prices and then sold the blood to factories or even hospitals at much higher prices.

Imbalances emerge in population growth
2004-05-24 Xinhua News
Although China has successfully prevented around 300 million would-be births since it implemented the family planning policy in the late 1970s, problems such as birthrate imbalance between urban and rural areas and the imbalance between economically developed and backward areas, have emerged. The country's population now has three features of low birth rate, low death rate and low growth rate. However, birthrate imbalance between urban and rural areas and the imbalance between eastern and western areas have emerged at the same time, said the article. Today, China's urban birthrate is lower than the rural birthrate. The "One Child" policy is strictly implemented in cities, while in China's vast rural areas, it is still common to see one couple produce two or more children. ( ) The average marriage age and pregnancy age have climbed in China's economically developed cities and the concept of "DINK (double income no kids)" has been accepted by more and more affluent couples in those cities. In metropolises like Beijing and Shanghai, the birthrates have been below zero, while in western areas, people still hold opinions like child bearing is for extending family tradition and therefore violation of family planning policy is frequently seen. The population policies should not only focus on birth control, but the improvement of the whole population's quality. If the birthrate in rural areas keeps higher than that of urban areas, the economic development gap between urban and rural areas will be further enlarged and the country's comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development program will be undermined. ( )

Protection of Chinese language urged
2004-05-27 Xinhua News
Prominent Chinese writers are appealing to the whole nation to be aware of the threat posed by the overwhelming globalization of the "beautiful" Chinese language, and to brace for challenging times ahead. Literary minds in attendance urged all Chinese people to never forget the beauty of their mother tongue. The writers from all over China included minds such Kuang-Chung Yu, Mo Yan, Su Tong and Ma Yuan unanimously believe that Chinese literature should be revitalized, especially facing the challenges posed by globalization. Kuang-Chung Yu, a renowned poet and writer from Taiwan province, pointed out that China and all the other Chinese-speaking communities around the world are inevitably confronted with the impact of globalization, or "the impact of globalization is that of westernization." These masters also warned that Chinese people should have a cautious enthusiasm about learning English, so that while learning another language they should never forget their Chinese. "English, after all, is only a tool to know the world... However, Chinese is the root where we grow from, and Chinese is the origin for our literature," Yu said. When referring to the topic when a Chinese writer can win the Nobel Prize in Literature, which is a complex for most Chinese, Yu revealed that Chinese people should not take the Prize too seriously. Yu pointed out that since 1900, the majority of participants winning the Prize have been westerners, and by using their native language it is much easier for these Western writers to win the Prize. ( )

China verurteilt den Terrorismus
2004-05-14 Guangming Wang (Übersetzung)
China lehnt Terrorismus in jeglicher Form ab. Verteidigungsminister Cao Gangchuan sagte dies am Donnerstag in Beijing beim Empfang von in- und ausländischen Teilnehmer eines Symposiums über die Zusammenarbeit beim Anti-Terror-Kampf. Cao Gangchuan wies darauf hin, dass gegenseitiges Vertrauen wie Gleichberechtigung und Kooperation der Inhalt der Anti-Terror-Politik und der internationalen Zusammenarbeit der Regierung Chinas in diesem Bereich sein sollte. China als Mitglied der internationalen Gemeinschaft wolle sich für Sicherheit, Stabilität und Prosperität in der Welt einzusetzen. ( )

 

Switzerland

Swiss-EU ties enter new phase, says Swiss president
2004-04-19 Xinhua News
Switzerland and the European Union (EU) wrapped up negotiations on a second set of bilateral accords Wednesday at a meeting in Brussels, which Swiss President Joseph Deiss said "marked the beginning of a new phase in relations. "I am confident that Switzerland will be a solid partner for the EU in the future," Deiss told a press conference in Bern, capital of Switzerland. Deiss said he wanted to present the agreement with the EU to parliament for approval in September or December. The meeting in Brussels was attended by EU Commission President Romano Prodi and Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey and Finance Minister Hans-Rudolf Merz. During the meeting, the two sides gave their official agreement to the compromise deal, reached last Thursday, in which the EU agreed to guarantee Swiss banking secrecy in exchange for Bern's cooperation in taxing EU residents' savings. The nine agreements, which include closer cooperation on security and asylum, the fight against international smuggling and customs fraud, are the second set of accords reached by Switzerland and the EU. The first set was signed in 2000. "The Union embraces Switzerland," local media cited Prodi as saying. Prodi hailed the agreements as a boost to Swiss-EU relations, and said that the treaties would bring considerable advantages to people in both Switzerland and EU member states.

 

Patrick Dreher
Embassy of Switzerland
 

The Press review is a random selection of political and social related news gathered from various media and news services located in the PRC, edited or translated by the Embassy of Switzerland in Beijing and distributed among Swiss Government Offices. The Embassy does not accept responsibility for accuracy of quotes or truthfulness of content. Additionally the contents of the selected news mustn't correspond to the opinion of the Embassy.
 
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